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The Orphic Melinoe 

Notes for my talk for the Hekate Symposium Online Version 23rd May 2021

First a bit about Orphism, (as understood in the Living Tradition) – Orphismos (or Orphism) is a mystery tradition or group of traditions, within Hellenismos (or Hellenism), closely connected with the Bacchic mysteries, and is often known as the Bacchic-Orphic mysteries.  It can be seen as the religion of Dionysos, who in Orphismos is Soter, the Saviour.  It is also closely connected with the Eleusinian mysteries, with Persephone also having an important role as Soteira, Saviouress.  The Gold tablets often referred to as the Bacchic-Orphic tablets, which have been discovered in burials of Bacchic-Orphic initiates throughout ancient Greece and Rome, dating from the 5th Century BCE to the 3rd Century CE contain funerary inscriptions giving instructions for the afterlife, in which Persephone and Dionysos are petitioned, or where the intitiate is instructed to tell Persephone that they have been liberated by Dionysos Himself.

There are a number of texts which are considered Orphic, including the Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony, which exists in fragments, and the body of invocations known as the Orphic Hymns.  Melinoe is a Goddess who appears in the Orphc Hymns, with Hymn number 71 in the collection being dedicated to Her.  Melinoe is described as a Kthonic Goddess, a wanderer, with domain over the dead.  She is a daughter of Zeus (disguised as (Plouton) and Persephone.   There are a number of possible derivations of Her name: – Melinos Μηλινοσ – having the colour of quinceMelon Μηλοω – tree fruit or quinceMelan Μηλαν -BlackMelaina – The Black OneSoothing One, Gentle-Minded; Colour of Quince – a yellow-green colour that the Greeks associated with death; Μειλινον – Dark MindedPropitiation Mindedfrom Meilia – propitiation,  noos-mind. Meilia is a word used to describe propitiatory offerings to the ghosts of the deadMelia ΜελιαAsh tree;  Meli Μελι –honeyMelismos Μελισμοσ – Dismembering, Dividing.

Athanassakis, in his translations of the Orphic Hymns, says that the yellow colour suggested in Her name may indicate that Melinoe is associated with the Moon.  He also says that Melinoe is the embodiment of Persephone’s anger.  

Zeus seduced Persephone near the mouth of the River Kokytos, which is one of the 5 rivers encircling Hades, its name meaning “lamentation”.  It flows into the river Acheron, on the other side of which is Hades.  The five rivers are the Styx (Goddess, daughter of Tethys), Phlegethon (Flaming), Lethe (Forgetfulness), Acheron (river of woe) and Kokytos

Taylor translates the Hymn as saying that Melionoe is half black and half white, but literal translation is “two bodied” or “double bodied”. It is unclear what is meant by this.   There are references to a myth that Zeus disguised himself as Plouton in order to seduce Persephone.  Other than the Pergamon tablet there appears to be no other references to Melinoe outside this hymn.   As a daughter of Zeus and Persephone, Melinoe is sister to Dionysos, who is also described in His hymn as “two-formed”.  Taylor relates her two forms to Her birth from celestial Zeus and Kthonic Persephone.   In Orphism however, Plouton is known as the Kthonic Zeus, one of the three Zeus’s.  (Poseidon being the other).

Franz Graf in Serious Singing: The Orphic Hymns as Religious Text, sees the arrangement of the Orphic Hymns as following the progression of a nocturnal ritual, (others argue for a cosmological interpretation of the order of hymns) and emphasises the fear of meeting a divinity or Phasma that would be unkind and in a violent state and could drive the initiates into madness.  He argues that the hymns create a mystery experience that is at least in part dangerous and frightening.  There is concern with madness as a possible negative result of the initiatory experience (this reminds me of stories of ancient sites in the UK where if you spend the night at certain times of the year, e.g. Summer Solstice, you will either go mad or be a mystic or poet in the morning).  

Graf argues that the order of the hymns starts with the Hymn to Hekate, reflecting the ritual reality of entering the sanctuary and passing the Hekataion in front of the entrance. The next hymn is to Nyx, night, which Graf argues is due to the rite beginning at night, and thus asking for Her protection from the daimons and spectres which may appear in the night, whilst the Hymn to Eos, Dawn, occurs towards the end of the hymns, when the rites are coming to an end.  The central hymns deal with invocations to Dionysos and His two mothers, Persephone and Semele, following the Orphic myth of Dionysos’s birth from Persephone, and then from Semele.   The Orphic hymns ask the divinities to be present and participate in the ritual.  They consist mostly of invocation and the requests of the deities are very general, asking simply for help with the initates life.  Unlike other Ancient prayers they do not contain a central argument, establishing the petitioner’s right to receive the help of the Gods, and Graf argues that this is because the praying persons are already initiates and this is enough to establish a close connection with the divinity that justifies their help.  The prayers ask the deities to appear in a way that is “good to meet” rather than frightening or dangerous, because the epiphany of a deity can be extremely frightening.  Hippolytus’s Refutio Omnium Haeresium gives an invocation to Hekate with a number of epithets and identification with other Goddesses, and at the end implores her to come in a way that is good to meet and says that “as soon as he has spoken this, you see fire shooting through the air, and they are afraid of this unexpected view, and cover their eyes”.  Ancient reports of mystery rites describe real and frightening apparitions and threats to sanity, and a number of the Orphic hymns ask for protection from frightening visions and psychic disturbances.  The Hymn to Korybas asks “to send away difficult wrath” and to “put an end to visions, torments of the terrified soul”.  This is the realm of ecstatic cults where divinity may drive a person mad by sending apparitions and ghosts.  In the Mystery traditions, the initiates meet the deity face to face.  This could lead to bliss and transendence, but also fear and madness. There was said to be an attacking daimon called the Empusa who frightened Eleusinian initiates, presumably if they had not been properly prepared and purified.  Iamblichus describes evil spirits who hinder initiates who have not been adequately purified.   Plutarch also described the Eleusinian Mysteries as progressing from “every terrible thing, panic, trembling, sweat and bewilderment” to final bliss, “where a marvellous light meets you, pure places and meadows receive you, with voices, dancing and the splendour of sacred sounds and pure visions” .  

Such fears may have been particularly pertinent in the Dionysian mysteries, as the central experience of the Bacchic cult was Mania.  In one story of Dionysos’s birth from Semele, (Apolodorus), Hera drives Dionysos mad, and he roamed around Syria and Egypt and arrived at Phrygia, where Cybele purifies Him and gives Him the holy robes and rites of initiation.  Dionysos has to be healed from Mania, and His mysteries are based in this process.  The Dionysian teletai or initiations/rituals heal madness.  The hymn to Melinoe, the sister of Dionysos,  asks Her to help with this, sending away the torments of the soul, and sowing a kindly face to the initiates.  Melinoe can “drive humans mad with airy ghosts”, but She is also intimately connected with the mysteries of Dionysos.  This is a similar concept to occult ideas of the “Dweller on the Threshold”.  Dioysos is connected with mania and is driven by madness, but also protects the initiates from madness.  Graff describes Dionysian madness as a kind of Vaccination that protects from madness, but at the same time holds the danger of real madness if the initiate is not properly prepared with purification, worship and ritual work.  The initiates confronted during rituals with the terror that they may face, ask the divinities that they present with a benign side and with the absence of the wrong sort of madness.  

Pergamon Bronze Tablet

The Pergamon tablet is believed to be a device for some type of divination, and invokes Hekate using many different names, many of which are known as independent Goddesses.  Persephone, Nyx, Dione and Melinoe are mentioned.  Three crowned Goddesses surrounded by dense inscriptions, mostly untranslatable – barbarous words, syllables for incantation.  Strings of vowels, thought to be used to invoke the harmony of the 7 celestial spheres.  The inscription around the figure labelled Phoibe invokes Persephone, Melinoe and Leucophryne, the latter referencing Artemis Leukophryne, who received cult worship at Magnesia in Thessaly.  Lettering dates to C3 CE.  Esoteric symbols are inscribed on the edges.  There is a central hole, and the tablet may have been suspended over a surface and used for divination, or may have been the base for a statue.  It was published with no find spot information.  It was found with 9 or 10 other magical instruments, – thunder stones, bronze disc, 4-sided  and inscribed bronze nail, 2 rings, and 2 or 3 bronze lamellae, inscribed with magical figures.  

Melinoe is a deity of the Orphic hymns who is said to bring madness and nightmares, and to lead a host of ghosts.  One meaning of her name is “of a black mind”.  The Pergamon tablet is a bronze triangular tablet which depicts Hekate Trimorphis, as three Goddesses whose names are inscribed as Phoibe, Dione and Nyxie.  Nyxie is a theonym of the Goddess Nyx, refering to “awakening in the night” (according to an article by Dimitar Georgieff).   Phoibe although the name of a Titan Goddess, Goddess of the bright intellect, can also refer to Artemis, sister of Phoebus Apollo. Artemis and Apollon also both have the epithet ‘Ekatos, far shooting.  Georgieff says that the Greek poet Bakhid 540-451 BCE said that Nyx is Hekate, – although Nyx is not Kthonic, here she represents the underground darkness.  Dione is a Titan Goddess, mother to Aphrodite, and an early wife of Zeus.  However, Persephone, according to Ovid, is also known by epithets Deiois and Deoine, meaning The Goddess.  Epithets Melindia, Melinoia, Melivia and Melitodes refer to Her as Queen of Darkness.  Georgieff argues that the naming of Hekate with the name Melinoe suggests the high degree of syncretism between the two Goddesses, Hekate and Persephone, and their parallel worship in cult practices.  Hekate was originally depicted as a single image, and only later (In the 5th Century BCE, the sculptor Alkamen made  the first surviving triple Hekate) appears as a triple Goddess, which Georgief argues is the result of cult syncretism with other deities.  

On the tablet, all three Goddesses are given the epithet Amivousa, the meaning of which is unclear.  It may derive from a particular cult practice around the city of Pergamon.  According to Aristotle and Plutarch, amia is a type of fish and vousa could be interpreted as vosko (feed) in connection with the use of this fish in sacrifice to the Goddesses.  However, William Bruce and Kassandra Jackson Miller state that Amivousa is a present active participle which either labels the figures (if taken as nomitive) or actively addresses them.  Verb ameivo, in the active has the sense of “to change” or “exchange”, or with regard to place, “to pass” or “cross”.   May refer to Hekate’s role as intermediary, helping mortals transition between states. 

Diagram

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Sardis Triangle

The Sardis triangle (C4th -6th CE) is the Third find of this type, other from Pergamon and Apamea.  The Apamaea triangle (C5th-6th CE) was found in a destroyed house amidst a layer of burnt materials from the roof, mixed in with lime from the floor.  It is therefore likely connected with rituals in private homes.  

Images of Hekate identifiable by her attributes are incised on surface, along with epithets and magical characters. The names Dion, Phoibe and Lykia are inscribed above the three Goddess figures.  The word Amivousa is inscribed beneath the feet of each figure.  Sequences of 7 characters are inscribed perhaps to invoke the harmony of the spheres. 

All three triangles have a central stand attached.   The Sardis one has a boss with a rectangular hole.  The Apomaea triangle has no magical characters.  The Sardis one has fewer than the Pergamon one.  The Pergamon one is the only one to contain voces magicae and additional epithets, perhaps part of an invocation.  The Sardis tablet is a simplified version of the Pergamon tablet.  Tablets of this type depict syncretic forms of Hekate, where she is combined with Goddesses such as Artemis, Selene and Persephone amongst others, and have similarity to texts in the Greek Magical Payri, and may have been used in a Greco-Egyptian magical practice.  They may also have had a theurgic context, as Sardis, Pergamon and Apamea all were centres of Later Platonism.  In Platonic theurgy, Hekate was equated with the World Soul and assisted philosophers in crossing from the material and impermanent world of change, to the changeless, unified and immortal realm of the Intellect.  In order to gain Hekate’s assistance in this, the theurgist would invoke Hekate to appear before him and give oracular instructions.  A standard ritual involved surrounding a statue of Hekate with various attributes and symbols and performing a ritual to animate Her statue. 

Pergamon Triangle

Ghosts

In common Greek religion, when a person dies, the psyche goes to Hades and does not return – there is a clear separation between the realms of the dead and the living, with only a few heroes being able to cross the Styx and visit hades and return alive.  

However, in the Mystery traditions, such as Orphic tradition, the heroes journey can be taken by all, through initiatory rituals and through the believe in metempsychosis or transmigration of the soul. 

In popular beliefs – in certain cases the dead could return to earth, and there are stories of Ghosts – 

The Aori, the premature dead, in some cases are not allowed to enter Hades, but remain between earth and Hades, and can become dangerous for the living, – especially those who have died violently or not been buried.  

Homer’s  Iliad, – Achilles is visited by Patrokles’s ghost.  In the Odyssy, Odysseus meets the psyche of Elpenor, requesting burial because they were in limbo, could not fully enter Hades.   Ataphoi, are unburied bodies, and show the importance of funerary rites.  Ghosts are not described as having a frightening appearance, but as being like shadows or dreams.  They may not be dangerous or vengeful, but can inspire fear in the living.   There is a reciprocal necessity between the living and the dead.  In the Odyssey, Odysseus needed the help of the soul of Teiresias, and the action of the living is important to the dead.   Death is familiar and the unavoidable destiny of mortal life.  The afterlife in Homer is seen as far less attractive than earthly life and the dead live in a dark shady world as shadows of their former selves.  

Lucian, a satirical writer, writing much later, in the 2nd Century CE tells a number of stories, where ghosts have contact with the living.  In one story the ghost of a dead woman visits her husband complaining that one of her slippers had not been cremated with her, and her husband has to find the slipper and burn it.  In another story, a brave philosopher volunteers to stay the night in a haunted house where there is said to be a dangerous and horrific supernatural presence, which is described as a black and long haired creature who can become a bull, a dog or a lion, and kills anyone who stays in the house.  The philosopher uses his Egyptian Book of Spells to fight against the ghost.  He then digs in the corner of a room and finds the bones of the deceased person buried, and the ghost disappears.  Lucian uses the terms phasma, daimon, psychai and nekron for ghosts, and these spirits are seen as having the power to interact with the living and be dangerous.  Lucian does not concern himself with any explanation of how they met their death, but an improper burial or cremation appears to be the cause of their hauntings.  But Lucian’s ghosts, unlike Homer’s can be frightening, dangerous and violent. 

In Homer ghosts are tiny winged creatures, Penelope’s suiters are described as bats after their death. Other sources describe the psyche more like birds – small insubstantial creatures that flit from the body to Hades upon death.  In scenes around grave stones, however, the dead are often depicted as they are in life. 

The appearance of ghosts  – visit the living to confirm their “other” existence, and life in Hades. 

However, Orphismos turns everything on its head, and in Orphismos, Hades is not under the earth, but is the mortal realm, and Plouton is the god of Mortality, of all that dies.  In Orphic philosophy, it is Poseidon who rules the Middle Realm, the space between the Earth’s atmosphere and the Moon, which is the place where souls rest between incarnations, awaiting rebirth in a new fotm.  Plouton and Persephone act as judges of the souls of the dead, and Persephone also births souls into their new existence.  Some souls are more attached to the material world due to the lives they have lived, and are “heavy souls”, and these remain in the earthly realm, the realm of Plouton, and it is these that wonder the earth as ghosts.  Melinoe could be seen to be guiding these heavy and lost souls.  

Bees

One possible meaning of Melinoe’s name that has seldom been explored is the connection with bees and honey.  Although some would argue that the spelling of her name, Μηλινοη, uses the letter η, whereas honey, Μελι, is spelled with the letter ε, given that we only have two surviving instances of Her name being recorded, we do not know whether there were alternative spellings of Her name.  Spellings were often not standardised in the ancient world, and there were variations of spellings of the names of various deities, and in my opinion, a connection of Melinoe with honey and bees makes a lot of sense.  Religion, like science seeks to explore how life emerges out of inorganic substances or dead matter.  The ancient idea of Bugonia – bees emerging from the carcasses of dead bulls, oxen and cows, was common in Ancient Greece, and represents life from death, the concept of rebirth or resurrection.   This represents Zoe, the eternal life force that endures death and renewal. 

Bugonia

Honey would become a constant ingredient in libations and rituals to the dead. The ancient Greek philosopher Porphyry stated that honey was a symbol of death, and for that reason it was usual to offer libations of honey to the divinities of the underworld. The Greek historian Plutarch wrote, “Mead was used as a libation before the cultivation of the vine, and even now those…who do not drink wine have a honey drink.”
Bees were also used as a symbol of rebirth in ancient Greek mystery rites.  Thus, Porphyry wrote that the priestesses who served the goddess Demeter were known as Melissae.  These Melissae commemorated a previous elderly priestess of the same name, who was initiated into the mysteries of the goddess by none other than Demeter herself. When Melissa’s female friends tried to force her to reveal the secrets given to her during her initiation, she refused to tell. As a result, her neighbours tore her to pieces (this reflects myths of Dionysos, Orpheus and Pentheus, the latter two both associated with the Dionysian Mysteries), and left her body to rot in the open air.  Outraged at the loss of Her priestess and her treatment by the women, Demeter caused a swarm of angry avenging bees to arise out of Melissa’s dead body, and to pursue the murderous women.    The sting of pursing bees can also lead to madness.   

Priestesses of other deities, such as Artemis and Aphrodite were also known as Melissae, and the Oracles at Delphi were known as Delphic Bees.  It is possible that the Oracle may have consumed “Mad honey” – hallucinogenic honeys made by the bees from certain species of rhododendron flowers, or they may have simply consumed fermented honey which sent them into a trance state, and gave them visions, from which they uttered prophecies.  

Dionysos is also associated with fermented honey, and with beekeeping.  His foster father Aristaeus is the God of beekeeping amongst other things.  Aristeaus is also associated with the bugonia tradition and the Orphic mysteries.  It was Aristaeus who pursued Euridike after her marriage to Orpheus, causing her to step on a poisonous serpent as she fled from him.  Eurydike died from the snake bite and descended to Hades.  Aristaeus was punished by the Gods for causing the death of Eurydike by having all his bee hives destroyed.  Aristeus sacrified bulls to the Gods to appease them, and after the sacrifices, the Gods caused swarms of bees to emerge from the carcasses of the bulls, restoring his hives.  Dionysos also appears in bull form, and another myth says that bees emerged from his body when he was torn apart by the Titans in the form of a bull.  Dionysos is both Bull God and associated with bees and fermented honey, an intoxicating drink that can infuse us with the God’s enduring life essence.  Kerenyi describes Dionysos as the “archetypal image of indestructible life”, linked with the concept of Zoe, the life that endures death and is without end, the life spark which cannot be extinguished.  The bee is also a symbol of Zoe.  Zoe can be said to be the core experience of the Mysteries, the ecstatic experience of the immortal soul within mortal life.

In my tradition Honey represents both immortality and the eros which flows between us and the Gods when we have developed a relationship with the Gods. 

Many Goddesses associated with bees were sometimes referred to as black, Demeter was sometimes called Melaina “the black one” Melinoe may be a variant of Melaina.  The Greek bee, Apis mellifera cecropia, native to Southern Greece, is often dark or black in colour.  The references to Goddesses as black, and to bees, connects them to the Underworld and to death and resurrection.    Some Greek mountain honey also has a deep dark almost black colour.  

Apis mellifera cecropia – Greek honey bee

Honey, can be said to have two qualities. First, it is a material that conserves (maintains) things inside. Also, it usually has a golden colour.  Both of these are symbols of immortality. So, it was considered a sacred material and offered very often as khoe (libation to the dead or chthonic deities) or sponde (a general libation). When offered to the dead it was mixed with milk, which is associated with Hera, and both the Divine power of Earth and the cosmic powers of the planets.  

At ancient Olympia, there was a festival for Kronos called the Kronia, where offerings were made to Kronos, as father of Zeus, tiny oxen made of wheat dough, another sacred material like milk, covered on the outside with honey, as a symbol of the two divine substances that Orpheus calls Earth and Water (Æther). The bees were a Mystic symbol of the nymphs and the Mystes, when symbolically they were united with them by divine Eros, they could enjoy the “honey,” the divine Æther, the essence of the Gods which offers immortality, since honey as a substance which preserves can symbolically conserve the “fine vehicle of a soul” forever: to make it immortal. This process was called nympholeipsia (accepting a nymph by Eros).  The bees are symbols of the nymphs offering their divine honey when a soul is pulsing by Eros to the Gods. 

The bugonia tradition had an influence on mystery traditions – the bee is a symbol of immortality, not just reincarnation.  

From Porphyry’s writings, we learn that Melissa was the name of the moon goddess Artemis and the Goddess who took suffering away from mothers giving birth. Souls were symbolised by bees and it was Melissa who drew souls down to be born.  As Porphyry stated: “All souls, however, proceeding into generation, are not simply called bees, but those who will live justly, and who, after having preformed such things as are acceptable to the gods, will again return to their kindred stars. For this insect loves to return to the place from whence it first came, and is eminently just and sober … therefore we must admit that honeycombs and bees are appropriate and common symbols of the aquatic nymphs, and of souls that are married as it were to the humid and fluctuating nature of generation.”

Souls as bees were lured to earthly life by the promise of earthly delights, such as honey, which was also an offering to the dead.  The dual nature of honey, of life and death  also reflects the cycle of existence.  As the bee returns to its hive, the Melissa as initiated soul, returns to its home upon death, to the realm of the Gods.

The Eleusinian Mysteries, involved a ritual death, a journey to the underworld to face the Goddess of Death, a sacred union with the Divine, and awareness of and experiential encounter with the Divine life spark within, that endures beyond death and is then resurrected.   

Modern Practice

Melinoe is a little known Goddess, with few devotees today, but there are a few modern Hellenics who incorporate Her into their practice, or who are devotees of Her and seek to understand more about who She is, through personal practice and UPG.   To help in my research on Melinoe, I asked some modern worshippers to tell me about their experiences with Melinoe.   Here’s a couple of responses

She helps with trauma

She could be invoked to ward off traumatic situations that hinder the development of the soul, living nightmares, like bullying, stalking, mass shooting incidents, or being torn away from your parents as a child.

–  Mark Andrew Holmes

What draws me to her? 

For me I’ve always believed in balance.  I think we need to know both sanity and insanity, we need to understand the light and dark in ourselves, the understanding we will do good and evil things. Her duality appeals to me because she is not necessarily good or evil in my eyes. 

From my understanding, Polis’ had gods they worshipped but individuals also had god(dess)s’ they worshipped as they also tended to worships gods with shared personality traits. I think Melinoë and I have similarities and difference. But I personally understand her at least on a mortal level of understanding. 

What kind of theurgic work would you do with Her? 

She helps with understanding death.  Understanding the spirits that can’t ‘cross over’ who are stuck here pain me.  Understanding nightmares and expressing rage are also quite important to me for mental health. 

How does worship of a Goddess of ghosts, fear, nightmares, benefit you and aid in your spiritual development? 

Now this is there it’s going to get a little dark. .. I have endured more death then anyone I know who hasn’t fought in a war or who are above the age of 80. ..Death is around me, death is the road I must walk, death is a road I cannot fear. ..Fear is something I need to understand more in myself, my fear of the darkness and the darkness in my head due to it all.  As someone who suffered a lot growing up switching beyond (hypo)mania and depression….Madness isn’t something I’m bugged by, I may be a lot better now but after experiencing those ups and downs I’ve learned to love that side to me because if I let it eat me alive I won’t be able to grow and evolve, I’ll put myself down in a rut and be trapped there and the cycle will continue. As for the nightmares? Those are the only dreams I ever dream when I do dream.  I’ve learned to understand my nightmares, understanding the pain, the anger, the panic and the regret that’s in them. The complexity. Since finding Her, I’ve had good and bad nights.  She has has helped a lot. To me knowing Her helps me know myself. 

Personal View

Here are my own personal views as to the areas which Melinoe can help us with when we form a connection with Her.

  • Banishing the “Maddening stings of the soul”
  • Helps us see through illusions and the delusions that can plague the ego
  • Helps us to face our fears and to pass through the blockages on the spiritual path
  • Helps us deal with the fear of change, the feelings of dissolution and dismemberment that can go with change and spiritual transformation
  • As full sister to Dionysos, who is also a God of Madness, she can be seen to share His qualities, and to bring Divine Madness and Liberation

To Melinoe

Shadowy goddess, wandering through the night,

Dual-formed, of darkness and of light,

Conceived near the mouth of the river of tears,

Give us the power to overcome our fears.

Goddess who dances amongst the graves,

Bringer of madness, Persephone’s rage,

Dark-minded, soothing, collecting the hosts 

Of lost souls and wondering ghosts. 

Liminal goddess through darkness you roam,

When we are in limbo you guide us home.

Sister of Dionysos, the Ecstatic One 

God of Divine Madness, Zeus’s Holy Son.

O Nightmare Goddess of unsettling dream,

Help us to see when things are not as they seem.

Help us to see through illusions,

And shake us from the ego’s delusions.

O Lady of propitiatory offering,

Honey-sweet, but with madness’s sting,

Apparitional, seen and unseen,

Accept our offerings, Night-wandering Queen!

(words and art by Ariadne Rainbird)

Prayer Card with print of above painting, and above prayer is available from my Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1009945910/melinoe-prayer-card?ref=shop_home_active_1&crt=1

References

Graf, Fritz., Serious Singing: The Orphic Hymns as Religious Texts https://doi.org/10.4000/kernos.1784

Bruce, W. and Jackson Millar, K. Towards a tpology of triangular bronze Hekate bases: contextualising an new find from Sardis

Deorgieff, Dimitar, About Melinoe and Hekate Trimorphis in the bronze tablet from the town of Pergamon

Kline, Jim, F

Beelieve: How a Dream of Bees Reveals the Origins of the Religious Experience

Aguirre, M., Some Ghostly Appearances in Greece:  Literary and artistic Sources